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Deepdale (ATT 12,089) 30th August 2008 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: C Oliver

Preston Preston North End vs Charlton Athletic Charlton

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Preston comeback stuns Addicks

Mellor and Nicholson on target in 2-1 win

Last Updated: 30/08/08 6:23pm

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Mellor and Nicholson: Preston heroes

Mellor and Nicholson: Preston heroes

Preston came from behind to beat Charlton 2-1 at Deepdale and climb to second in the Championship table.

Andy Gray put Charlton ahead from the penalty spot in the first half but Neil Mellor equalised after the break and Barry Nicholson grabbed the winner on 66 minutes.

The hosts created the first chance of the game after three minutes, but Charlton goalkeeper Nicky Weaver reacted well to tip Richard Chaplow's 18-yard strike around the post.

Gray then saw a close-range header cleared by Youl Mawene, but it was Preston who remained on top, with Nicholson and new loan signing Jon Parkin both forcing excellent blocks from the Charlton defence.

The visitors then took the lead against the run of play after 19 minutes, following an error by Mawene.

The former Derby centre-back got himself into a tangle before bringing down Luke Varney in the box, and referee Clive Oliver had no hesitation in awarding a penalty which Gray coolly slotted past Andy Lonergan.

Nicholson and Mellor both saw headers saved by Weaver, while Parkin also fired over from 20 yards as Preston tried to get back on level terms.

Equaliser

The home side almost grabbed an equaliser with four minutes of the half remaining, but Sean St Ledger's 12-yard strike cannoned back off the post with Weaver beaten.

Preston started the second half in the same way they had ended the first, with Parkin seeing yet another shot blocked by Jonathan Fortune.

After 52 minutes, Parkin had a further chance to level the scores, but his header was comfortably saved by the outstanding Weaver, who then pulled off a magnificent save from Mellor's 25-yard shot.

Rewarded

Preston were eventually rewarded for their dominance after 58 minutes, as Mellor lashed the ball home from six yards following Chris Sedgwick's left-wing cross.

Charlton responded with an attack of their own, and Lonergan had to be alert to tip Mark Hudson's header over the bar.

However, Preston doubled their lead shortly afterwards, as Nicholson capitalised on a rare moment of hesitation from the Charlton defence and poked home from close range.

Varney wasted a glorious chance to bring Charlton level after 72 minutes when he fired over the bar from six yards, but from that moment on Preston were rarely troubled, and they held on with relative comfort to maintain their unbeaten start to the Championship season.

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Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 21 39
2 Middlesbrough 21 39
3 Derby County 21 38
4 Ipswich Town 21 38
5 Brentford 21 37
6 Watford 21 35
7 Norwich City 21 33
8 Blackburn Rovers 21 31
9 Nottingham Forest 21 30
10 Charlton Athletic 21 30
11 Cardiff City 21 30
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers 21 30
13 Sheffield Wednesday 21 28
14 Fulham 21 25
15 Birmingham City 21 25
16 Reading 21 25
17 Huddersfield Town 21 24
18 Bolton Wanderers 21 23
19 Leeds United 21 23
20 Millwall 21 23
21 Rotherham United 21 21
22 Brighton and Hove Albion 21 18
23 Wigan Athletic 21 17
24 Blackpool 21 13

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